University Trading Challenge: Nikeleones, work of self-criticism with regard to the investment methods… goal +40% or the top 15 in the ranking.

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Nicola Calzà (team leader), Pierluigi AdornatoFederico NobiliRenè Pfitscher and Alessandro Caluori are the Nikeleones.

They represent, in this edition of the University Trading Challenge, the Department of Management & Technology of the Bocconi University of Milan.

They started the competition at the end of December and their debut in the rankings – January 2nd – showed them placed in 43th position with -3,24%. In the weeks immediately following, their performance has worsened, reaching a low of – 28.58% at the end of January. They found the right strategy to approach the market and were able, not only to recover the situation, but they also reached the green side of the rankings, they have achieved a profit of + 25.70% in April,10th, and recently they succeeded even to consolidate it. We find them today – rankings as of April, 24th – at the 9th place with an excellent +42,93%.

They trade on MTA and IDEM of the Italian Sock Exchange and on the CFDs of LMAX Exchange.

So far, the executed orders are over a hundred.

“We are 5 students from Bocconi University, attending the first year of the Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance. In the trading contest promoted by Directa SIM we are representing the Department of Management & Technology. Particularly, the members are: the team leader Nicola CalzàRené PfitscherAlessandro Caluori RodriguezFederico Nobili and Pierluigi Adornato. We have picked Nikeleones as the team’s name, a name of typical derivation according to our victory aspiration with the lions, the symbol of our university.

Thanks to the knowledge of the team leader regarding the platform provided by Directa SIM (on which he was already operating for several months now), we wanted to give a go to our wish to engage directly in the financial markets: attracted by the world of finance, specially by the stock markets, we have decerned in this competition huge opportunity to face early on what would most likely be a large part of our future work, or the almost obsessive habit of being always in alert, waiting for the next news or price-sensitive features; the ability to transform the latter two into appropriate investing trading strategies, in the short and medium term; the competitive components’ analytical efforts, both informative and financial of a given company; lastly, on the other hand, the great passion that we have about the economic and financial phenomena, which made us, still makes us, and will also keep teaching us always new logics of investments, in ever more innovative sectors, and in always more worthy companies, ambitious and competitive. It’s not unclear or hidden, our ambition to emerge already in this world thanks a hypothetical positive yield: a good performance and a low risk would have significant implications in terms of notoriety, but also in more quantitive terms (let’s be honest: if the prize exactly corresponds to the profits achieved, the economic incentive is very obvious: and we are so excited about this!).

We have started to compete officially in late December, with a target; to finish in the top 20 or with a 20% of yields, and an investment paradigm, only Italian stocks, and futures on the Italian indices. The reason being? The wide range of financial instrument choices, made available by Directa SIM, on which we could, and still are able to operate has led us to prefer, in the first place, the market from which we can obtain as much information as possible; secondly, we have opted for the stocks and the Italian futures, instruments, in this case, with leverage not so high like that of the CFDs, or the Forex instruments, but yet not too modest as the foreign equities (we have preferred an overnight logic; in doing so, we have had the chance of obtaining a leverage on foreign securities, and so holding them in portfolio for more than a day).

In the first few days, we were rather cautious as the first results came round the fall of the listing prices in early January was promptly recovered, but one, one tactic rashed at the end of the month (lasted for one day) was ill-fated, and forced us to a change to strategy and the working method. From that moment on, we have developed and refined an impressive process of investment, and gradually improved over time: price-sensitive information research, economic calendars with insights of possible major scenarios with economic rilevance, and constantly updated; fundamental analysis (quarterly and financial budget indices); reviews of the analysis reports of the rating companies; financial indicecs regarding the stock prices; analysis of competitiveness level; target-price (take-profit) and stop-loss; short term SWOT analysis of companies, and reference sectors; hypothetical risk levels of investiment scenarios.

All of this, with regard to the submission of the group investment proposal document. Then, setting of deadlines, weekly meetings and continuous updates via instant messaging. All of this has allowed enabled us for now to achieve the nearly 100% of yields, with constant trend, and no particular volatility since the last prices’ fall, at the end of January, and a provisional gain from the beginning of the competition of about 35%. Our work of self-criticism with regard to the investment methods has earned us to mature a lotNow we hope for an end of the competition worthy of such endeavour. We have a new goal, we have set it in early April: 40% or the top 15 in the ranking.

Two members, Federico and Alessandro, were novice at beginning of the competition, but they did have the precise aim of learning and getting trained with the University Trading Challenge, and indeed that is exactly what happened; there were chosen for their ability in studies and for trying to maintain an unbiased perspective behind the investment strategies, and paying more attention to the information.

In this way, they have been able to put into practice the first managerial and macroeconomic studies,as well as enriching the stock market’s vocabulary knowledge. Three members, the team leader NicolaRené and Pierluigi,have already had enough consolidated experience in trading or investment: Nicola, a passionate about the managed savings and stocks, who operates on Directa‘s account for few months with some success and had already finished second in the first edition of the Top Advisor, a competition based on investment funds, on nationally level, promoted by Swiss private bank Pictet and by FIDARené: an expert of the fundamental analysis, and great fan of Benjamin Graham theories, he used analyze for some years, the German or the international companies, for the sake of investing afterwards in the simulator provided by the Frankfurter Allgemeine, also with remarkable success; Pierluigi was using the simulator of the Italian Stock Exchange and, during the competition, finishing third in the intermediate stage of the second edition of the same competition and he was faced by Nicola the year before. We would like to thank Directa for giving us this great opportunity.”

We thank you for the interview and for having decided to take part in this initiative in which we believe a lot. We wish Nicola, Pierluigi, Federico, Renè and Alessandro to continue with the determination so far demonstrated trying to increase as much as possible their knowledge on the financial markets in order to arrive between the top teams of this edition of the University Trading Challenge.

We remember them that on May the 21st, during the ITForum in Rimini, will be held the trading duel TOP of the TOP.

You could be one of the participants!!!!!

The team that, from March 30 to April 30, achieves the best performance will be invited to participate in the competition!!!

Good luck Nikeleones!!!!

“Watch the market leaders, the stocks that have led the charge upward in a bull market. That is where the action is and where the money is to be made. As the leaders go, so goes the entire market. If you cannot make money in the leaders, you are not going to make money in the stock market. Watching the leaders keeps your universe of stocks limited, focused, and more easily controlled.”

J. Livermore


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